1. Your professors, as much as they may encourage school spirit and involvement in extracurricular activities, are not forgiving when you miss class for competition
Sometimes having to miss class for a game or tournament is unavoidable. Regionals is a 3 hour drive away and your coach wants to leave the day before so you don’t arrive exhausted. A conference game is on a Thursday afternoon during your biology class. Conference championships are starting on a Friday morning at another school, and your coach has made the decision to go the competition site early to practice. At first you think that since you’re representing the school, your professors should grant leniency. Not always, buddy. If you’re at a school where attendance is taken daily, professors are on the ball about penalising you.
2. You’re assumed by other students to have a less than average intelligence level
You would think that the jock stereotype would be lost somewhere between high school and college… Nope! Part of the varsity athlete territory involves your spending time with fellow athletes, thus subconsciously creating a group. It’s not that people like to think of athletes as dumber, but everyone draws upon their prior knowledge to apply to new situations. In this case, many college students draw upon their experiences and knowledge from high school where there typically is a jock group. Just because you’re an athlete and others identify you as a jock, doesn’t mean you aren’t as smart as everyone else. Define the jock, don’t let the jock identify you!
3. You don’t understand how other students have so much time and energy to do so many other things: Between practice, lift, conditioning, rehab and competition, who has time for anything?
But seriously, where do you guys get it all? You went out and didn’t get home till 4am? That’s cool. I had to sit in an ice bath before hobbling back to my dorm.
4. Your team is your family: Coach becomes dad, your assistant coach becomes Mom, and your teammates become siblings
It happens everywhere. Think about it: you’re seeing the same group of people everyday for multiple hours, in addition to going on various trips with them. Together you experience emotional ups and downs, along with the common dream of holding that championship trophy.
5. The struggle of getting to class while incredibly sore (stairs are your enemies)
It’s the day after an intense practice. Your coach ran you through countless sprints and strength exercises until a couple of your teammates lost their lunch. The alarm clock on your bedside rings and as you move to shut off the annoying ringing, you realise everything hurts: your arms, your legs, your core, your back, even your butt. Already, you can predict having to allow an extra five minutes between classes so you can hobble along at your own disabled pace. Yup, just another Thursday.
6. Having to attend classes in practice gear because you don’t have time to change later
Yes judgemental person sitting next to me in Spanish. I do own clothes other than Nike shorts and a dri-fit t-shirt. I just don’t have the time to change out of a nice outfit before class.
7. Having to maintain a decently healthy diet so you can stay somewhat in shape
While everyone else is feasting on ice cream, waffles, cake, pie, cookies and endless fast food, you’re stuck with your grilled chicken breast and salad. It’s not bad, but it’s also the only thing you want to eat since everything else is a heart attack on a plate.
8. Feeling the stress when two teammates don’t get along
When two people on your team are fighting, the entire team feels the tension. It could be completely unrelated to your sport, and it would still affect everything. You find yourself tip toeing around both people so you don’t get stuck choosing sides. Just hug and make up already.
9. For the girls: The only bras you wear are sports bras, and the only hairstyle you flaunt is the ponytail (with the extra few elastics on your wrist like bracelets)
Yes, there really are boobs under there, and yes I know my hair is super long and looks nice when it’s down. It’s just not practical for me to wear super nice bras if I can’t play sports in them, or have my hair down if it will get in my face.
10. Off-days are full of internal conflict: To go out with friends, or to loaf on my bed with Netflix?
I’m just so tired. All the time. Now that I’ve finally got the time to sleep and rest, all my friends want to go out and party? Why…?